By FHSU University Communications
HAYS, Kan. – Fort Hays State University announced the 2022 Launch Prize winners at a press conference at Memorial Union this morning. The three coveted awards recognize the outstanding efforts and achievements of FHSU students and faculty.
“It is truly an honor to be nominated for these awards,” said Dr. Grady Dixon, Dean of Werth College of Science, Technology and Mathematics. “These awards recognize the best and the brightest. You see, you don’t name yourself. You are not applying. You are not reaching a standard that you have been working towards. These nominations are organic and come from those who believe you deserve to be honored.
Alec Bevis, Wichita, received the Torch Award as Outstanding Graduating Class of 2022 at Fort Hays State University.
The Torch Award was established in 1974 as one of three annual introductory awards presented by the FHSU Alumni Association.
Alison Helget, Hays, and Mary Kathy Robb, Kansas City, Mo., were co-recipients of the Lighthouse Award honoring outstanding graduate student for the academic year. This prize was awarded for the first time in 2018.
Psychology Instructor Kenneth Windholz was named the Pilot Award recipient for Outstanding Faculty Member for the School Year. The Pilot Award was established in 1974 and is based on current class nominations.
Bevis, a graduate of Bishop Carroll High School, will receive a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a major in Biochemistry and plans to pursue graduate studies in Biochemistry. He has several doctorates. pending program offers.
A member of the FHSU Honors College, Bevis has served as a mentor in the organization’s peer mentorship program. He said the Honors College has opened the door to many opportunities through scholarships and peer networks. He has been working as an undergraduate research assistant for the Department of Chemistry since 2020.
Bevis has been captain of the Tigers men’s soccer team since 2020. He has earned numerous honors for the Tigers – for his work on and off the field – including several All-America recognitions. He was the first player in FHSU program history to be named to the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America team.
One of Bevis’ nominations said, “The Torch Award defines who Alec is. He possesses the qualities that make a student successful in scholarly pursuits, and he exhibits those same qualities that FHSU seeks to develop in students inside and outside the classroom.
Lighthouse Award co-winner Alison Helget maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA while earning her bachelor’s degree in history from FHSU in three years while working toward her master of arts in history.
Helget has earned numerous honors at FHSU, where she serves as president of Phi Alpha Theta, a history honor society, and the FHSU History Club. She is co-founder and co-editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and will be published for the second time in a history journal this summer. She is the lead researcher for Imagine Ellis County’s “An Economic History of Ellis County for the Past 70 Years,” and she teaches English and history.
Helget — a longtime volunteer, instructor and coach for the Hays Recreation Commission — plans to continue her education this fall when she begins work on a doctorate. at Texas Christian University.
One of Helget’s nominators, in recommending Helget, said, “Alison represents the values and academic excellence of Fort Hays State University. She is an exceptional, motivated and dedicated student. I can think of no better representative of the Lighthouse Award than Alison Helget.
Lighthouse Award co-winner Mary Kathy Robb also graduated with a perfect GPA of 4.0 with an MFA with a specialization in ceramics. During her career at FHSU, she earned three graduate scholarships and used one to develop a unique blend of fired and unfired surfaces on one of her ceramic sculptures.
As a member and leader of the Ceramica Clay Club, Robb presented workshops to other students. She is described as “a leader in the studio, who set the tone for putting time into the making of her sculpture”.
Robb’s work has been exhibited throughout Kansas, including at Hays, and has also been featured in regional competitions. Her master’s thesis, “Human Nature,” presented an immersive experience of living and connecting with our planet and its creatures with her thesis project leading to a 600-pound porcelain crocodile.
A nomination letter described Robb as “a very committed learner and performer. As the leader of the studio, she inspired others to care and make art. She is a great example of a creative lifelong learner.
Pilot Award recipient Kenneth Windholz is highly regarded for his teaching style and “for keeping students engaged throughout the class.”
“I imagine students feel like they are having conversations with Ken rather than passively listening to a lecture,” wrote Dr. Dharma Jairam, chair of the Department of Psychology. “Ken skillfully and effortlessly weaves personal and professional stories into his discussion of course content.”
Windholz was nominated by four separate students for this award. He is described as “not a great instructor, more of an exceptional instructor. … He is a major ally for mental health in the community. … Ken’s positive regard for students made my time at FHSU unforgettable… You couldn’t ask for a better person, a better man, a better human.
Windholz is also described as a masterful teacher who does not view his role as a faculty member as “just a teaching job. Ken is a model mentor for students. He is always available for students and he always goes the extra mile, even if that means meeting students at odd hours in the evenings or on weekends. It’s amazing to see the lasting bonds Ken has forged with the students.
Windholz, also a clinical psychologist, is a member of numerous professional organizations. Locally, he is chairman of the board of directors of the Hays Baseball Association and is the longtime announcer for Tiger football and basketball games.
During Tuesday’s announcement, Windholz concluded his acceptance speech with one of his favorite quotes — one that Windholz loves to live by: “The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see. “
Candidates for the Torch and Lighthouse Awards are nominated by faculty and staff members on the basis of classroom excellence; leadership; participation in academic, community or national organizations; and participation in student, civic or research activities. Applicants are senior graduates or students who graduated in December of the previous semester.
Candidates for the pilot award are nominated by senior graduates on the basis of excellence in class, ongoing research, and service activities.
To learn more about the awards given, visit www.FHSUalumni.com/commencement-awards or contact the Fort Hays State University Alumni Association at 785-628-4430 or email@example.com.